Course Hero. "Persuasion Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 5 Aug. 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Persuasion/>.
Course Hero. (2016, November 28). Persuasion Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Persuasion/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Persuasion Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed August 5, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Persuasion/.
Course Hero, "Persuasion Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed August 5, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Persuasion/.
Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 7 of Jane Austen's novel Persuasion.
A few days later, Captain Wentworth arrives to stay with his sister and brother-in-law at Kellynch Hall and makes a visit to the Musgroves at the Great House. Mary and Anne would have encountered him there had not Anne's nephew taken a fall and dislocated his collarbone. Once the doctor sets the child's clavicle, Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove begin gushing about Captain Wentworth, who has accepted Mr. Musgrove's pressing invitation to dinner on the following evening.
With his son's condition improving, Charles Musgrove plans to go to the Great House for dinner the next day. When Mary complains about being left out by being expected to stay home with her injured son, Anne offers to watch her nephew. Mary quickly accepts and accompanies Charles. When they return they praise the Captain's charm and tell Anne that he asked after her.
The next day Captain Wentworth visits the house to greet Mary before hunting. There he and Anne see each other for the first time. Later Mary observes that he treats Anne less gallantly and mentions his saying Anne was "so altered he should not have known [her] again." Anne puzzles over the possible meanings and concludes he no longer loves her. Wentworth, however, is still hurt by the broken engagement, thinking Anne weak, timid, and too easily swayed. The chapter ends with conversation between Mrs. Croft and Captain Wentworth, who admits being open to a relationship with any pleasing young woman—his "secret exception" being Anne Elliott, whom he has not forgiven.
With Captain Wentworth's arrival and little Charles's broken clavicle, the tension is high. Anne assumes the role of caretaker in the absence of the others except Mary, and ministers to her nephew's injury. During these moments, with Mary hysterical and Charles absent, Anne appears calm, but the narration exposes her frantic emotions. Continuing the motif of illness, her time alone the next day allows her to reassess events; her thoughts serve to deepen her character and further the conflict through her meditation of the past and present.
The ease with which Anne seems to navigate life's situations (her father's disregard, Mary's inconsistency, medical emergencies) is complicated by Captain Wentworth's presence. Although Anne has vowed to remain calm, she appears at ease outwardly only. With the narrator's access to her thoughts, readers witness her heartsick and struggling to understand Wentworth's behavior. As the protagonist suffers, the plot moves ahead as readers wonder whether the Captain really reciprocates Anne's feelings.
The end of the chapter sees a break in the narration through a conversation that excludes Anne. Knowing Wentworth only through Anne's eyes, he is presented differently, claiming to be "ready to make a foolish match." His response to Mrs. Croft's question seems proud, aloof, possibly tinged with sarcasm. Previously Anne mentioned his occasional way of speaking impulsively. This statement may be evidence of impulsiveness, suggesting he is in in some way ruled by emotions, and that Anne affects him as he affects her.